Festivals

Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival

  • For most, smoking the barbecue for the festival has to happen the night before.
  • In between the work though, is a chance to hang out with friends during the quite moments before the festival.
  • Patrick Feges of Feges Barbecue and Southern Goods does his best fire god impression.
  • Patrick Feges unloads embers from his fire barrel for smoking a whole pig.
  • The whole pig smoked by Feges Barbecue for the festival.
  • Festival volunteers get some snaps of Feges Barbecue's whole roasted pig.
  • Feges Barbecue's pig roaster.
  • Arash Kharat cleans the smoke box with a flamethrower.
  • Mind the sparks! Chef Arash Kharat preps his pit with a flamethrower.
  • Wood smoke arcs across the night sky in the wee hours before the 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival.
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  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • The gentlemen of Pappa Charlie's Barbecue have a quiet moment during preparations.
  • Richard Flores quietly observes the preparations from afar.
  • Pitmasters gather for a moment of camaraderie and conversation.
  • A game of midnight softball the night before the Houston Barbecue Festival.
  • Golf carts come in handy for getting around NRG Park, the site of the Houston Barbecue Festival.
  • Ara Malekian cleans his smoke box with fire.
  • For late nights of barbecuing, caffeine is important. Ara Malekian makes a pot of life-giving Turkish coffee.
  • Turkish coffee simmers over a burner.
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  • Ara Malekian used staves from wine barrels to smoke some of his meat.
  • Barbecue blogger Scott Sandlin of Texas Pit Quest gets some shut-eye before the festival gets into high gear.
  • Time for the festival to begin! A big banner greets attendees to the 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival.
  • Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, Mary Eisenhour Bass of Alvin Community College and barbecue blogger Scott Sandlin of Texas Pit Quest are ready to greet attendees.
  • A group of Houston Barbecue Festival volunteers are ready to greet visitors under the big archway.
  • Houston Barbecue Festival volunteers are all smiles.
  • A line of hungry Houstonians wait for entry to the festival.
  • NRG Park workers look out for everyone's safety.
  • The Houston Barbecue Festival logo on a cap.
  • Houston Barbecue Festival co-founder and Houston Chronicle barbecue columnist J.C. Reid and wife, Tamara.
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  • Houston Barbecue Festival volunteers.
  • Houston Barbecue Festival volunteers Jessica Walters and Dragana Harris.
  • J.R. Cohen transporting barbecue festival workers, including co-founder Michael Fulmer.
  • Restaurant owner and Houston Barbecue Festival volunteer Jenny Wang with Houston Chronicle restaurant critic Alison Cook.
  • Aerial view of the 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • People of all ages love Texas barbecue.
  • Ronnie Killen of Killen's Barbecue
  • Chef Joe Cervantez of Killen's Steakhouse.
  • Wayne Mueller of Louie Muller's Barbecue in Taylor, Texas.
  • Greg Gatlin cuts apart barbecued ribs at the 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
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  • #barbecutie
  • Pitts & Spitts, seller of smokers and grills, had a tent at the Houston Barbecue Festival.
  • The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival was well-attended, as always.
  • Maxine from Ray's BBQ Shack helps visitors to their tent.
  • The pitmasters of Pappa Charlie's Barbecue are all smiles even after being up cooking all night.
  • Pappa Charlie's Barbecue rib roast
  • The couple on the left are writers who came all the way from Germany to attend the Houston Barbecue Festival and said there is no Texas barbecue to be found there. Houston Barbecue Festival volunteer Bob Frasier is on the right.
  • Misty and Russell Roegels of Roegels Barbecue Co.
  • Pitmaster Russell Roegels shows off a hunk of his delectable smoked pastrami.
  • Feges Barbecue
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  • The enthusiastic crew of Blood Bros. BBQ.
  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Felice Simmons and Shanna Jones of the Urban Swank blog
  • Surprise! Becky Masson (center) of Fluff Bake Bar joins the ladies of Urban Swank.
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  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • We totally agree with this sentiment from the El Burro & The Bull team.
  • The El Burro & The Bull team. Photobomb courtesy of Ben McPherson.
  • The El Burro & The Bull team
  • Chef Jonny Rhodes of the Jensen Chronicles pop-up series was helping out the El Burro & The Bull barbecue team for the festival.
  • Photographer Chuck Cook (left) with Cliff Evans of Bernies' Backyard (right)
  • The Brisket House team
  • Too-sexy beef ribs from The Brisket House
  • Brisket from The Brisket House
  • The Gerardo's Drive-In crew serving Houston Barbecue Festival volunteers.
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  • Tacos from Gerardo's Drive-In
  • A happy festival goer with her barbacoa taco from Gerardo's Drive-In.
  • Another festival goer also looks pleased with his score of Gerardo's tacos.
  • Danelle Reed at the Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Fainmous Barbecue upped the ante with their fried barbecue dumplings.
  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Nichole and Will Buckman of CorkScrew BBQ.
  • CorkScrew BBQ's brisket
  • Will Buckman of CorkScrew BBQ slices beef brisket
  • The gentlemen of Southside Market in Elgin
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  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Onion rolls for PIzzitola BBQ's chopped beef sliders
  • A Pizzitola's worker stuffs chopped beef into split onion rolls
  • Workers at the Pizzitola's BBQ booth
  • The smoky offerings of Lenox Barbecue
  • The Lenox Barbecue team
  • The ladies of Tin Roof BBQ
  • The Custom Confections bus
  • Anthony Revis of Custom Confections
  • The Brooks' Place barbecue team
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  • The Tejas Chocolate Craftory barbecue team.
  • The VIP offering from Tejas Chocolate Craftory included carrot souffle and chocolate pudding.
  • Pinkerton Barbecue smoked a whole alligator!
  • Grant Pinkerton with his whole, barbecued alligator.
  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Mel Gamboa serves beer to the hot and thirsty patrons of the Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Jay Rascoe of the Guns & Tacos blog with wife Cathy.
  • The pitmasters of Spring Creek Barbecue
  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
  • Brandon John Allen, pitmaster at Jackson Street BBQ
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  • Sausage and barbecue biscuit from Jackson Street BBQ
  • Marie Elgamal of Pop Studios PR with Tony Faour, left, is the owner of BBQ Godfather
  • Ara Malekian and his team
  • Small bites from Ara Malekian's booth
  • Houston Barbecue Festival volunteers assist one of the vendors
  • Bottles of cold root beer from Blake's Bar-B-Q & Burgers
  • Nighttime Barbecuing and Daytime Fun At The 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival
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Photo by Phaedra Cook
For most, smoking the barbecue for the festival has to happen the night before.
It's hard work to prepare smoked meats for a couple of thousand hungry Houston barbecue fanatics. See the work and camaraderie that happens the night before, then check out the 4th Annual Houston Barbecue Festival in full swing. Photos by Phaedra Cook.